Tech Primer: What you need to know about DDR4 memory

Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
Besides Server and possibly workstation application is there really a necessity to have more than 32GB of RAM in a home desktop, even more so at 64GB of RAM. I've had 12GB since the launch of X58 and have never needed more, let alone 64GB. The only logical application for home use would be a RAM Drive, other than that I see it as a waste of money to equip a system with so much RAM you'll never use. Not to mention by the time you are using all that RAM the rest of the system will likely be a bottleneck. Back in the day you rated a computer based on how much RAM it had, just people who don't know any better still use that thought process when buying new computers, and sadly that's the vast majority.
 
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Mikymjr

TS Booster
Besides Server and possibly workstation application is there really a necessity to have more than 32GB of RAM in a home desktop, even more so at 64GB of RAM. I've had 12GB since the launch of X58 and have never needed more, let alone 64GB. The only logical application for home use would be a RAM Drive, other than that I see it as a waste of money to equip a system with so much RAM you'll never use. Not to mention by the time you are using all that RAM the rest of the system will likely be a bottleneck. Back in the day you rated a computer based on how much RAM it had, just people who don't know any better still use that thought process when buying new computers, and sadly that's the vast majority.
It depends actually ^^. It's not that they are pushing everyone for larger capacity of RAM. It's just that everyone has certain needs. And for instance if there are individuals who really are using as much multitasking as possible(with virtual software, etc), then surely it will be a necessity for those individuals. Everyone has different needs. But I agree that some just install so much just for fun or bragging rights =p.
I myself do need 16GB for now(right now it's just at 8GB). Next year I'll go for a new build with AMD fx8 and just buy me a set of 16GB DDR3 as they might be cheaper for now =). It's best to wait for prices to come down, glitches to be worked out and performance to be increased don't you agree?
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
Recently purchased an X99 w/ 32GB DDR4. The latency doesn't concern me a whole lot. The ram capacity is great, esp for databases and ramdisks.

When 16GB sticks come out, thinking of throwing another 64GB in.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
DDR4 looks to be pretty cool, although nothing world breaking. By the time I upgrade from my X58 to X99 I am hoping they have GPU's that run 4K much better then the disappointments we have now.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
While a DDR3-2133MHz stick normally runs at around CL10-CL11, current DDR4-2133Mhz sticks run at CL15. This isn't unusual and is pretty much exactly what we saw when DDR3 was introduced, but it does mean that DDR4 likely won't be any faster than DDR3 -- at least at first.
As RAM speed goes up, the latency numbers always increase. So where's the surprise here?

I'm thinking the latency numbers remain somewhat speed/ latecy proportional to earlier incarnations of DDR.
 
G

Guest

Though we're not seeing dense modules yet. I think Samsung showed a prototype 32GB single DIMM, but that's about it.
 
G

Guest

Not buying my next laptop until next year Skymont + DDR4. Likely a MacBook Pro Retina.
 
G

Guest

So disappointed in the whole ddr4, socket x99 stuff. I was waiting for it for ages but I have been thinking lately I might just buy a 4790k and Z97 for what works out to be about half the money an X99 setup would cost.
 

TorturedChaos

TechSpot Chancellor
Besides Server and possibly workstation application is there really a necessity to have more than 32GB of RAM in a home desktop, even more so at 64GB of RAM. I've had 12GB since the launch of X58 and have never needed more, let alone 64GB. The only logical application for home use would be a RAM Drive, other than that I see it as a waste of money to equip a system with so much RAM you'll never use. Not to mention by the time you are using all that RAM the rest of the system will likely be a bottleneck. Back in the day you rated a computer based on how much RAM it had, just people who don't know any better still use that thought process when buying new computers, and sadly that's the vast majority.
Adobe CS/CC suites.....
I wish I had went for the Quad channel ram in my graphic design computer we use for signs so I could have went up to 32gigs of ram. I easily max out 16gigs when I get to working in Photoshop. Even 2ft x 3ft scans @ 400dpi with a few color adjustment layers. Most things I built in Illustrator, but even then when you get a lot of effects and transparencies going on it uses a lot of ram (Speaking of which has anyone else notice that Illustrator CC 2014 seems to have worse performance with glows and drop shadows than previous CS versions and saves to larger files?)
But some effects are just easier to do in Photoshop or not practical in Illustrator, then you end up with HUGE files.....
 

ElShotte

TS Booster
In fact, when comparing performance between the Core i7 5960X and 4960X, Geekbench reports only slightly higher memory scores from the system with DDR4-2133MHz memory versus the one with DDR3-1600MHz memory (5691 versus 5382). Once higher frequency DDR4 becomes available and the timings tighten up a bit, we should start seeing the performance benefits of DDR4.
Hold on, so they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz? Brilliant.

Honestly, I see this whole DDR4 technology as a capitalization scheme and I think the Geekbench report makes no sense. I mean, I get the fact that DDR4 runs at .4V less then DDR3, but why did they use DDR3 RAM with such a low frequency (and probably bad timings too)? My system is currently running DDR3-2133Mhz, and if they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz and DDR4 got slightly higher results, then I take it my DDR3-2133Mhz (which has better timings as well) performs about the same if not better than the DDR4 (although running at 1.6V).

Perhaps this is why Geekbench used such low-frequency DIMMs. I see absolutely nothing (besides worse performance) really worth the 20-50% price increase. I mean, who wouldn't want to pay for worse performance. I totally understand that this DDR4 will be the future, and will be the standard for all new chipsets, at this point is totally not worth it, and you have to ask yourself, is it even smart to go with a DDR4 chipset and shell out the extra bucks and get worse memory performance than the best DDR3 available now which is probably significantly cheaper (both for chipset and memory).
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
if they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz and DDR4 got slightly higher results, then I take it my DDR3-2133Mhz (which has better timings as well) performs about the same if not better than the DDR4 (although running at 1.6V).
I don't think it would really matter that much.

 

amstech

IT Overlord
Hold on, so they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz? Brilliant.

Honestly, I see this whole DDR4 technology as a capitalization scheme and I think the Geekbench report makes no sense. I mean, I get the fact that DDR4 runs at .4V less then DDR3, but why did they use DDR3 RAM with such a low frequency (and probably bad timings too)? My system is currently running DDR3-2133Mhz, and if they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz and DDR4 got slightly higher results, then I take it my DDR3-2133Mhz (which has better timings as well) performs about the same if not better than the DDR4 (although running at 1.6V).
).
Maybe for specific benches, but last I looked the actual real world performance difference from 1600MHz to 2200Mhz (games, apps) is next to nothing.
There is a difference at 1333Mhz and slower though.
 

SNGX1275

TS Forces Special
Besides Server and possibly workstation application is there really a necessity to have more than 32GB of RAM in a home desktop, even more so at 64GB of RAM. I've had 12GB since the launch of X58 and have never needed more, let alone 64GB. The only logical application for home use would be a RAM Drive, other than that I see it as a waste of money to equip a system with so much RAM you'll never use. Not to mention by the time you are using all that RAM the rest of the system will likely be a bottleneck. Back in the day you rated a computer based on how much RAM it had, just people who don't know any better still use that thought process when buying new computers, and sadly that's the vast majority.
You are right, very few people would need it. But it isn't out of the ordinary for people to run (or want to run) multiple virtual machines.
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
Hold on, so they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz? Brilliant.

Honestly, I see this whole DDR4 technology as a capitalization scheme and I think the Geekbench report makes no sense. I mean, I get the fact that DDR4 runs at .4V less then DDR3, but why did they use DDR3 RAM with such a low frequency (and probably bad timings too)? My system is currently running DDR3-2133Mhz, and if they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz and DDR4 got slightly higher results, then I take it my DDR3-2133Mhz (which has better timings as well) performs about the same if not better than the DDR4 (although running at 1.6V).
Is there a DDR3 system out there that has stock 2133MHz timings? Or do you need to overclock for that? Highest I've seen is 1866MHz but may be wrong.
 

TechDude33

TS Rookie
It's nice to see someone in the industry admit that there is little if any performance benefit from moving to DDR4 from DDR3, especially from low voltage DDR3. More importantly it is important to understand that DDR3 is not a system bottleneck as I have demonstrated to people over and over in actual test of real applications.

The increased cost of DDR4 and it's topology that requires replacement of all RAM preventing just adding RAM as can be done with DDR3 and prior versions makes DDR4 undesirable for most PC enthusiasts, especially since the increased frequency offers no tangible system performance advantages. DDR4 being intended primarily for server use offers little value for PC enthusiasts yet it is over-hyped as RAM suppliers desperately attempt to deceive consumers into believing that the faster frequency DDR4 can deliver significant system performance improvements, when it can't nor can faster than 1600 MHz. DDR3 for CPUs and 2133 MHz. DDR3 for APUs. People should conduct real world test instead of being misled by benchmarks that assume the RAM is saturated 100% of the time, which it never is in any PC.

Knowledge is power but ignorance is bliss.
 

TechDude33

TS Rookie
Hold on, so they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz? Brilliant.

Honestly, I see this whole DDR4 technology as a capitalization scheme and I think the Geekbench report makes no sense. I mean, I get the fact that DDR4 runs at .4V less then DDR3, but why did they use DDR3 RAM with such a low frequency (and probably bad timings too)? My system is currently running DDR3-2133Mhz, and if they compared DDR3-1600Mhz to DDR4-2133Mhz and DDR4 got slightly higher results, then I take it my DDR3-2133Mhz (which has better timings as well) performs about the same if not better than the DDR4 (although running at 1.6V).
).
Maybe for specific benches, but last I looked the actual real world performance difference from 1600MHz to 2200Mhz (games, apps) is next to nothing.
There is a difference at 1333Mhz and slower though.

As noted below there is no tangible system performance gains on CPU powered desktops with RAM frequencies greater than 1600 MHz. and 2133 MHz. for APU powered PCs because DDR3 RAM at these frequencies does not create a system bottleneck. In addition the DDR3 timings makes even less system performance diff than the frequency makes - when running real applications, not bogus RAM benches which assume the RAM is saturated 100% of the time, which it never is. In the old days before DDR3 timings and frequency did matter but they are no longer a system bottleneck as this article points out early on.

The bottom line is DDR4 is primarily for server use and offers no tangible system performance advantage to desktop or laptop PCs. In addition DDR4 offers minimal power advantages over DDR3 LV so there is no reason to even consider DDR4 unless you are stuck with a system that will only run DDR4. DDR3 LV is the smart choice for most people and you don't get any value from higher frequency or lower timings, contrary to the hype from the RAM purveyors.

You also do not need more than 4GB-8GB of DDR3 RAM for most desktop applications. Few people can effectively use more than 8GB of RAM even if they have a 64-bit O/S that actually supports more than 8GB. of RAM. (Note: Not all Windoze 64-bit O/Ss support higher quantities of DDR3 RAM).